Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Infomercials and commercials

So recently, Mark and I were watching television and a commercial came on for the new Harry Potter Wizard's Chess set.

It says you get the first 2 pieces for $20, with free shipping.  Then each 2 pieces after are $15 (+$6 shipping).  It's really subtle.  You look at it an think, "Wow!  That's really cool!" ...What you -don't- think is... you know, at @$21/2 for 15 more pairs, you're actually going to spend well over $300 for this chess set...

So my boys watch commercials all the time.  My youngest, for his upcoming birthday wants the Cars 2 Video Game for xbox360.

He also wants The Color Splash Speedyway that he saw on television.

Fortunately for me (and for him), these are really the only 2 things he wants for his birthday.

But the ones that always make me both laugh and cringe are when my children watch infomercials.  For six months, I had to fend off my children trying to get me to order one of these.

And every time this commercial comes on,

my children tell me about how their beds give them back pains and aches and how they wake up more tired than when they went to bed in the first place.

Recently, we've started seeing these

and my youngest tells me about how his neck hurts when he wakes up and he has to flip all over his bed because his head gets hot, and it's his pillow (and needing a new bed) which is why he -never- goes to sleep (contrary to all the pictures I have showing otherwise (wink)).  (Although, I'll admit, this one looks like something I might try...)

When Your Baby Can Read came out,

my oldest kept trying to get me to get it for his little brother (even though he was already 2 and could talk).  It's another of these 'free trial offer for only $15, and another not mentioning what the real final price is.

I'd considered getting my boys the MUZZY Language set,

another 'try it free!' program....until I did the math and realized it would cost over $200.

On the one hand, this is a minor rant to how easy it is to target commercials to children.  It makes me feel better to know I'm up to the challenge to (usually) say, 'No.'

But it also provides me the opportunity to teach a VERY valuable lesson:  That what you see and what they say are not always, and even, not USUALLY what the actual final price you end up paying is.  When 'free' actually equals $200 ...it's not very free, now is it?

And in most instances, it's not even worth it.

1 comment:

I'd love to hear your thoughts!